I have been accused ( and I might add correctly) of not liking enough people. Or any people. My dad routinely asked me to list the people I really liked, I think I always had real trouble after about 5 names. As I grew up it was still about 5-8 because he often did not know the people I would have liked to list, so I didn’t name them. The list was still never really long, may be I confused liking with admiring or wanting to be like them, I don’t mind most people. Anyway, I must be a terrible person and a snob. That’s fine, you don’t have to like me either!
Even so, there were numerous people I loved and love. That is always easier.
So, this is going to be a short post as age has given me the upsight ( okay okay, insight) into what I admire.
I like people who value knowledge, have a passion to integrate what they learn into their life and not keep the two things separate. People who like to learn more about things that affect life, their lives, others’ lives and consider them the same thing. Because what is happening to someone else can soon happen to them, to me, to anyone. Who don’t take freedom as a right, but take it as a responsibility. Who don’t think vigilance is an option or should be only related to what is happening in their street or inside their homes.
People who try to restrict Orwellian ‘doublethink’ (having two opposing thoughts and believing them both even though they are mutually incompatible, e.g., working with mouse models of human diseases and not believing in evolution; believing in democracy, yet trusting privately owned, unaccountable and profit oriented CEOs more than the elected government or believing in an all encompassing and omnipresent God, restricted to their own religion etc. ). They are prepared to test every belief they have with every day they live and learn and perceive more. It is nearly impossible to remove all forms of doublethink, especially if you are not a monk, but restricting its existence is possible. A word of caution here is, some times what appears to be contradictory, just because one has decided to support a particular group of people, e.g., the Syrian government vs. the rebels, the Russian version of Crimean invasion or the western or the Ukrainian, is actually not contradictory. Because all sides can be wrong. And even the usually wrong sides, can do some things right. And acknowledging that doesn’t mean we don’t know which side we are on ( which could be no side at all, especially for spectators, although not so much for the people in the midst of it all), it means we are aware. The people I like, would like to be aware of the details, even if, they are forced to side one way or the other: the lesser evil, the more promising or simply the less damaged (in the head)!
People who know and seek the truth and yet remain positive knowing its cruelty. People who have hope, amidst every sign of morbid despair. Who don’t know everything and don’t pretend to do so, yet don’t stop trying to learn giving it up as a thankless pursuit. People who don’t just look but try to see. Who would follow up on a news story making waves and try to find the truth, before reacting as and in a herd ( like Zimmerman’s).
People able to differentiate, if the need arises, between justice and truth, integrity and honesty and the absence of any of that.
People who believe in basic human equality and value all forms of life and nature, above national boundaries, yet appreciate cultural traditions and natural causes of dissent.
If that sounds like doublethink, it is not. It is more tolerance and acceptance. The difference can be a little confusing, but I think I can best explain it as: doublethink would require changing what other people/societies (like scientists) do, think, believe or have proven, to satisfy your version of the truth ( or the reconciliation of two or more arguments that you wish to believe as true). Tolerance would just require you to accept the things that already exist, scientific or historic in nature, like cultural traditions and gravity, (even if the laws explaining gravity more appropriately may change). So, I don’t think being religious and believing in evolution is doublethink, because where I come from religion is more of a cultural thing and the belief in God is personal choice ( you can have a favorite God too!). Although, I am surely taking a lax position on this one (hardcore people may feel free to disagree). Mainly because being uprooted from my country, I have finally understood the value of tradition and the intricacies and thought that have gone in to build them. Their knowledge is essential to keep them longer. And knowledge is maintained best by practice accompanied by questioning all things simply taken on face value, traditionally ( like castes, in India).
Finally, people who relentlessly practice not fooling the person easiest to fool, themselves and still go to sleep hoping for a good day tomorrow. At present, I am glad that there have been days I have been close to getting on my own list. So go ahead, as I said earlier, you don’t have to like me either!